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The international cold noodles recipe.

I love Japanese cold noodles. I love the eating process – swirling the springy noodles in the chilled dashi dipping sauce till they’re loose, lightly coated with sauce and eventually, eating it. I love the taste – so refreshing, light and so tasty. I love the condiments – the raw quail egg, scallions, pickles, shredded seaweed sheets and wasabi.

(I really don’t like the sesame seeds that sometimes come with it though. I love everything sesame except the seeds :P)

On this particular warm and humid evening, my stomach decided to crave for Japanese cold noodles. I could have driven out and get my fix but I decided to make it eventhough the only Japanese ingredient I had in my pantry was a tube of instant wasabi.

# – The international cold noodles.

What would you do??

Well, I decided to wing it. I figured that an International version of cold noodles would just do as well to satisfy my craving ;)

What exactly is International cold noodles, your wonder? Lets find out…

The ingredients:

  • 80 grams of wheat or rice vermicelli (from China)
  • 300 ml of chicken stock (from Malaysia)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of nampla or fish sauce (from Thailand)
  • 1 tablespoon of light soya sauce (from China)
  • 1 egg, half boiled (from Malaysia)
  • 1 tablespoon of pickled sour ginger slices (from China)
  • 1 teaspoon of Japanese horseradish paste/wasabi (from Japan)
  • 1 teaspoon of parsley flakes (from USA)

How’s that for International????? Hehe.

# – First, warm up the chicken stock in a pan and pour in the nampla/fish sauce.

# – Followed by the light soya sauce. Stir to combine.

# – Pour the stock into a bowl and keep chilled in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.

# – In the meantime, make the half boiled egg. This contraption I was using is brilliant! Simply pour boiling water into it up to the designated level and wait for it to drip off. Once water is completely drained, voila…perfect half boiled eggs!

# – Now boil the noodles according to instructions on the packet.

# – Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water. You can throw in some ice if you want.

# – Set the noodles on a plate and placed the half boiled egg on it. Place some pickled ginger slices and squeeze out some wasabi on the side.

# – Take out the chilled dipping sauce and sprinkle parsley flakes all over the sauce. Serve with the plate of noodles.

# – The international cold noodles, DONE!

I was truly pleased because this international cold noodle dish managed to hit all the right notes. The noodles were loose and springy. The half boiled egg was divine (you must absolutely dunk it in the dipping sauce).

The dipping sauce was delicious thanks to the depth of the homemade chicken stock and the taste of sea from the nampla. It was really not a bad replacement for authentic dashi dipping sauce!

All said, some Japanese salty pickles would have made the entire experience perfect, but beggars can’t be chooser. I’ll remember to stock up on Japanese pickles next time. Oh yeah, and chopsticks!!!!

Posted in: Homemade Recipes, Noodles - Continue Reading

Fake Japanese braised chicken wings with potatoes.

Never ever try to plan dinner right after lunch because it’s virtually impossible to conjure up any coherent thought. And that’s how my chicken wings came about. Bought them while on a semi-food coma, with no planning whatsoever.

The thing is, I’ve never really had luck with cooking chicken on the bone. They’ve always turned out semi-raw and I’d have to nuke them in the microwave half way through eating. Yeah, pretty disgusting.

So really, I don’t know how I ended up with a packet of chicken wings because I’d normally quite consciously avoid them.

# – Fake Japanese braised chicken wings with potatoes.

From food coma to a full blown panic mode, I realised the only source of protein for tonight’s dinner were the wings. The look of disappointment on the BF’s face upon his realisation that he’d chomped on raw poultry popped up to haunt me.

I was determined to make it right but I didn’t know how :(

Thankfully, I found a recipe called “tebasaki to sato-imo” or english for braised chicken wings with new potatoes (i <3 google translate) in one of my recipe books. So, I replaced the sake with chinese rice wine, scallions with coriander powder and new potatoes with old potatoes chopped up into new potato size.... And hence, the title :P I was confident it would work, it had to work gawddamit! # - Tebasaki To Sato-imo

The ingredients:

  • 500 grams of chicken wings (that’s about 4 wings with drummets still attached)
  • 400 grams of potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 4 tablespoons of chinese rice wine (or better, sake!)
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of dark soya sauce
  • 2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 cm of ginger, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander powder
  • 200 ml of water

# – First, marinade the wings with 4 tablespoon of chinese rice wine and set aside for 30 minutes.

# – Then, heat up oil in a pan and brown the chicken wings on all sides.

# – When wings have browned, throw in the sliced ginger.

# – Pour water in till chicken wings are just covered.

# – Cover and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.

# – After that, throw in 2 teaspoons of sugar.

# – And the dark soya sauce.

# – Not to forget the potatoes…

# – Lastly, the one tablespoon of coriander powder.

# – Stir to combine, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.

# – In the meantime, steam or boil some peas. Because everyone should eat vegetables!

# – Fake Japanese braised chicken wings with potatoes, DONE!

The wings…they were gorgeous! The meat was succulent, moist and full of flavours. The sauce was DELICIOUS and sticky. And the potatoes? Gawd, the potatoes…

# – Look at the colours inside the potato. Flavoured through and through.

Simply sublime with rice and what’s surprising was how few ingredients were involved and how relaxing the entire process was. Just leave them to simmer into something so amazingly delicious.

Don’t believe me?

# – Plate-licking good!

Best thing of all, I didn’t have to nuke them in the middle of dinner just so we won’t get bird flu or something. I implore you to try this recipe! Happy cooking!

Posted in: Chicken, Homemade Recipes - Continue Reading

Chawan mushi.

I’m going to have my period soon, and my crazy cravings have already kicked in. Today in particular, I wanted so much to eat chawan mushi. But I was too lazy to change my pjs so I decided to make my own. It’s my first time, so I ventured without expectations.

There was nothing in the fridge – no chicken, no crabsticks, no mushroom. I decided to improvise.

Errr, forgot to take pictures of the eggs. I used two eggs.

Firstly, I soaked the scallops and oysters for about 1/2 hour. Then I use the soaking water to make one cup of chicken stock with 1/2 a cube of stock. Next, crack two eggs into a bowl and beat it lightly (no bubbles). While beating the eggs, slowly add in the chicken stock, a tablespoon of soy sauce, a tablespoon of rice wine (or sake) and mix all together.

1. Egg mixture.
2. Scallops, oysters and moss at the bottom of the cups.

3. Egg mixture in the cups.
4. Cover with aluminium foil and steam.

Arrange the the scallops, oysters and moss at the bottom of two cups. Then pour in the egg mixture. Cover cups with aluminium foil. Steam for 13 minutes.

1. 13 minutes later….looking good!
2. First scoop, little bit of moss visible. Mixture appears to have solidify nicely. Taste better than Sushi King!
3. More moss. Where are the good bits???
4. B00ya! The oyster.
5. Satisfied diner.

Verdict: I am the queen of the chawan mushi.

Posted in: Homemade Recipes - Continue Reading